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Applying social science and public health methods to community-based pandemic planning
Pandemic influenza is a unique threat to communities, affecting schools, businesses, health facilities and individuals in ways not seen in other emergency events. This paper aims to outline a local government project which utilised public health and social science research methods to facilitate the creation of an emergency response plan for pandemic influenza coincidental to the early stages of the 2009 H1N1 (‘swine flu’) outbreak. A multi-disciplinary team coordinated the creation of a pandemic influenza emergency response plan which utilised emergency planning structure and concepts and encompassed a diverse array of county entities including schools, businesses, community organisations, government agencies and healthcare facilities. Lessons learned from this project focus on the need for (1) maintaining relationships forged during the planning process, (2) targeted public health messaging, (3) continual evolution of emergency plans, (4) mutual understanding of emergency management concepts by business and community leaders, and (5) regional coordination with entities outside county boundaries.
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CitationDanforth, Elizabeth J., Doying, Annette, Merceron, Georges and Kennedy, Laura (2010, November 1). Applying social science and public health methods to community-based pandemic planning. In the Journal of Business Continuity & Emergency Planning, Volume 4, Issue 4.